Amb. Kadré Ouedraogo, the President of ECOWAS Commission, has expressed the readiness of the ECOWAS force to intervene in the political crises in Guinea Bissau and Mali.
Ouedraogo gave the indication at the on-going 2012 ordinary session of ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Tuesday.
He noted that apart from the $11 million-funding for the troops to Guinea Bissau, ECOWAS had also sought logistics support from its development partners.
``We sought the logistics support of many of our partners who agreed.
``We are in contact with the United States, France and the United Nations who were added partners helping in the deployment of troops.
``We are mobilising all of our resources and are working at the Commission to obtain the necessary financial backing and by next week, ECOWAS troops should be in Guinea Bissau,’’ he said.
Ouedraogo noted that the crisis in Mali posed a threat to the African region, adding that part of the options of ECOWAS was to peacefully resolve the crisis in Mali or apply the use of force.
``The ECOWAS tried to access the problems of institutional crisis and security problem in Mali at the same time.
``Using dialogue to resolve the crisis peacefully was the first option, and that is why the ECOWAS standby force is there because ECOWAS has decided not to negotiate with terrorists.
``We know the countries that are going to contribute; a strategic plan has been drawn up and if the ECOWAS force has to be deployed, we need the go-ahead of the UN Security Council,’’ Ouedraogo said.
He also said that the commission had already started the process of providing financial support to address the humanitarian issues that arose from the situation in both countries.
Ouedraogo noted that the sub-region was not only faced with the issue of Internally Displaced Persons, but with refugees that also existed in non-ECOWAS countries.
He called on member states to respond early to the payment of the community levy, noting that the levy would financially support internal efforts to address rising issues.
The president also said that the situation in Mali and Guinea Bissau would have easily been resolved if the parliament functioned in its capacity as a legislative body.
``How do we go about it, we at the commission would have permanent consultations with the Speaker and members on the on-going processes to this effect and parliament elections will be by direct universal suffrage.
``I will spare no efforts along this line,’’ he said.
He expressed delight in the parliament's resolve to acquire the status of a Parliament with effective legislative powers and gave an assurance of the commission's support in that regard.